Ten years or more before the classic tremors of Parkinson’s disease (PD) appear, the destruction of dopaminergic neurons in the brain’s nigrostriatal pathway is well underway. Identifying biological markers (biomarkers) of PD in its earliest stages will be crucial for early intervention with therapeutics to prevent or even reverse loss of dopaminergic neurons. Biomarkers for early PD could be used to identify patients at risk for PD or in the earliest stages of the disease and to assess the efficacy of new drugs or therapies. Biomarkers could also be used to select appropriate patients for clinical trials and to monitor disease progression or drug-induced remission in real time. So far, only one biomarker for PD called DaTscan---SPECT imaging of dopamine transporters at dopaminergic nerve terminals in the nigrostriatal pathway---has been approved by the FDA. Given the number of patients with PD (~1 million in the United States and ~5 million worldwide), developing new biomarkers for detecting the earliest stages of this disease is imperative if new drugs and treatments are to be developed.
This Webinar is organized by Science/AAAS and Science Translational Medicine, in association with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The Webinar will be moderated by Dr. Todd Sherer, Chief Program Officer of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
During this live webinar event our four distinguished panelists will:
- Explain the need for biomarkers for detecting early PD and how these biomarkers can be used in drug development and clinical trials
- Provide an overview of promising new biological and neuroimaging markers
- Discuss the challenges and bottlenecks in the development of new biomarkers for PD and the role of the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI).
- Answer your questions LIVE on air!